Sunday, February 3, 2013

Wise words from the Fathers

'The first stage of this tranquillity consists in silencing the lips when the heart is excited. The second, in silencing the mind when the soul is still excited. The goal is a perfect peacefulness even in the middle of the raging storm.' (St. John Climacus)

"Self-indulgence takes many forms. A man may be self-indulgent in speech, in touch, in sight. From self-indulgence a man comes to idle speech and worldly talk, to buffoonery and cracking indecent jokes. There is self-indulgence in touching without necessity, making mocking signs with the hands, pushing for a place, snatching up something for oneself, approaching someone else shamelessly. All these things come from not having the fear of God in the soul and from these a man comes little by little to perfect contempt." (St. Dorotheos of Gaza)

Wherefore, the Word, as I said, being Himself incapable of death, assumed a mortal body, that He might offer it as His own in place of all, and suffering for the sake of all through His union with it, "might bring to nought Him that had the power of death, that is, the devil, and might deliver them who all their lifetime were enslaved by the fear of death." (St Athanasius Archbishop of Alexandria)

The Lord is wise, just and mighty by nature. Because He is wise, He could not be ignorant of the way in which to heal human nature. Because He is just, He could not save man, whose will was in the grip of sin, in a tyrannical fashion. Because He is almighty, He could not prove unequal to the task of completing His healing mission. (St. Maximos the Confessor)

'Blessed the one who loves holiness like the light and has not defiled his body with dark deeds of the Evil One in the sight of the Lord.' (St. Ephrem of Syria)

Not even the little birds fall down to the ground without God's will. We should always say to God, "Thy will be done." (Elder Athanasius of Grigoriou)

'Our actions disclose what goes on within us, just as its fruit makes known a tree otherwise unknown to us.' (St. Thalassios the Libyan)

"The world being unworthy to receive the Son of God directly from the hands of the Father, he gave his Son to Mary for the world to receive him from her." (Saint Augustine)

'Do good when you remember, and what you forget will be revealed to you; and do not surrender your mind to blind forgetfulness.' (St. Mark the Ascetic)

Only one who guards himself from all sin can have sincere and fervent faith. Faith is only preserved in the presence of good morals. (St. Nikon of Optina)

'Ascetic struggle - fasting, vigils, patience, forbearance - produces a clear conscience.' (St. Thalassios the Libyan)

"Prayer for others is very beneficial to the man himself who prays; it purifies the heart, strengthens faith and hope in God, and arouses love for God and our neighbour." (St. John of Kronstadt)

A hypocrite is someone who teaches his neighbour something he makes no effort to do himself. (St. Poemen)

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